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American Airlines workers on leave after kicking black NY passengers off flight over body odor

American Airlines has placed several employees on administrative leave following a lawsuit filed by three black New Yorkers who were removed from a flight to John F. Kennedy Airport over complaints of body odor.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom announced the disciplinary action in a memo to employees this week, which also blamed a problematic incident on a flight that took off from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in January.

“I am extremely disappointed by what happened on this flight and the breakdown in our procedures,” Isom said in the memo.

“This goes against our company’s values. This incident has caused us to fail to deliver on our promises and has disappointed our customers.”

American’s CEO, Robert Isom, announced the disciplinary action in a memo to employees this week, in which he condemned the troubling incident. Getty Images

It’s unclear how many American Airlines employees involved in the fiasco have been placed on administrative leave.

“We are holding those involved to account, which may include suspending team members from work,” an airline spokesman said in a statement.

According to a lawsuit filed by three passengers against American Airlines, eight black men were removed from a flight on January 5 after a white male flight attendant complained of unpleasant body odor.

The New York trio – Xavier Viel, Emmanuel Jean Joseph and Alvin Jackson – allege in their lawsuit that they were subjected to “blatant and egregious racism” by airline staff.

The New York trio – Xavier Viel, Emmanuel Jean Joseph and Alvin Jackson – allege in their lawsuit that they were subjected to “blatant and egregious racism” by airline staff. Obtained by the NY Post
On January 5, eight black men were ordered off a flight after a white male flight attendant complained of unpleasant body odor. Obtained by the NY Post

According to the lawsuit, the men were complete strangers and were seated separately from five other black passengers, but they received special attention.

Video of the incident shows the men suggesting they were targeted because of their race, a notion that is shockingly heard verbally echoed by an American Airlines employee.

According to a lawsuit filed last month, passengers were removed from the plane, but when no other flights could be found they were told to reboard — a tedious and frustrating ordeal that delayed the flight by about an hour.

American is also forming an advisory group to focus on the experiences of Black customers, encourage reporting of alleged discrimination and improve diversity training to “highlight real-world situations that will help recognize and address bias and discrimination,” according to Isom’s letter.

This is not the first time American Airlines has faced discrimination allegations.

According to the lawsuit, in 2017, the NAACP warned black travelers to avoid the airline due to multiple instances of discrimination.

American committed to changes, and the NAACP lifted its recommendation nearly nine months later.

Video of the incident shows the men suggesting they were targeted because of their race, a notion that is shockingly heard verbally echoed by an American Airlines employee. Obtained by the NY Post
American committed to changes, and the NAACP lifted its recommendation nearly nine months later. NurPhoto via Getty Images

Isom claims he has consulted with civil rights groups about the company’s future actions.

With post wire

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